BOSTON (CBS) – Dining tables and chairs replaced the parking lots along the streets in Boston’s North End as the neighborhood, along with the rest of the city, resumed outdoor dining.
“Oh, it’s a huge relief,” said Sergio Maffeo, Bricco’s restaurant manager. “We have waited a long time for this.”
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The crews spent the rainy morning building traffic barriers and even setting up umbrellas along Hanover Street.
For restaurant owners, the expansion of outdoor dining is a game changer and a lifeline not only for their employees but also for customers.
At Carmelina, street dining means almost doubling capacity.
“We will switch from 38 to 60, 62 seats so that all of my service employees who did nothing during the pandemic can recover. All my kitchen staff now have the hours they need for work, ”said Damien DiPaola, owner of Carmelina.
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Despite the winds and cool weather, North End resident Chris Hayes believes this is a sign of better days.
“I think it’s a little cloudy, a little cloudy, but we’re all happy to be out here,” said Hayes. “Everyone wants to do their best and respect CDC guidelines and everything, but at the same time we are ready to get back to life.”
As more people get vaccinated and the restrictions slowly relax, restaurant owners are keen to serve more people.
“It’s as if people lost their freedom for the first time in their lives after being locked up for a year,” DiPaola told WBZ-TV. “We offer something other than food. We offer people life and the opportunity to socialize. ”
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Alfresco dining in the North End extends through December 1, 2021 depending on the weather.